Rawalpindi, Nov 30 (ANI): Pakistan "has transited from the 'most sanctioned ally' to the 'most bullied ally'" of the United States, a top Pakistani military official has claimed.
The official's comments were part of a wide-ranging briefing given to editors, anchors and columnists on Sunday, the Dawn reported.
The timing of the briefing appeared to be a coincidence, having been scheduled on the same day the WikiLeaks released a slew of US diplomatic cables, revealing among other things, tensions between the US and Pakistan over nuclear matters.
Detailing frank exchanges between the uppermost echelons of the Pakistan military and the Obama administration, the senior military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, listed a catalogue of complaints the 'people of Pakistan' have against the US.
These include: the US still has a 'transactional' relationship with Pakistan; the US is interested in perpetuating a state of 'controlled chaos' in Pakistan; and, perhaps most explosively given the WikiLeaks' revelations, the "real aim of US strategy is to de-nuclearise Pakistan," the paper said.
The official also repeatedly stressed that the 'frames of reference' of the US and Pakistan with regard to regional security matters "can never be the same and this must be acknowledged," and that the dichotomy between short-term US interests and long-term Pakistani security interests needs to be kept in mind at all times.
When asked about the outlook for relations between the US and Pakistan in the year ahead, the military commander gave a downbeat assessment, saying, "I see difficulties and pitfalls. Things are so complex (in the region)."
On Afghanistan, the official suggested that the US needed to "clearly identify and state the end conditions in Afghanistan," and also claimed that the lack of clarity on the Americans' part was because "either they aren't willing to state them (the desired 'end conditions') or they don't know themselves".
In detailed comments on the military's approach to North Waziristan Agency, the senior official said, "(The US) has an increased focus on North Waziristan for understandable reasons."
"Most terrorist attacks inside Pakistan originate from North Waziristan. So the question is not if but when and how to tackle it militarily," the official added.
Nevertheless, citing three factors, the official downplayed the possibility of an imminent operation in NWA. First, the official said, South Waziristan needs to be resettled. Second, the country had to prepare for the 'serious blowback' of an operation in NWA, which would include terrorist attacks in the cities and a fresh wave of Internally Displaced Persons. Third, the official stressed the need for the "creation of a political consensus".
When told of Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's comment that there is no need for a fresh consensus because the support for the operation in South Waziristan also extends to North Waziristan, the official responded sharply: "I will not do it unless there is a political consensus on North Waziristan." (ANI)